Celtics vs Heat Betting Preview: Eastern Conference Finals Rematch

The Celtics Knocked the Heat out of Last Year’s Eastern Conference Finals

The Boston Celtics travel to Miami to take on the Heat in what is a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. The series went seven games with Boston winning by four on Miami’s home floor. Given the circumstances, we can expect the Heat to come into this game with a little bit of revenge on their mind. Plus, Miami will be hungry to get their first win of the season after dropping their home opener to the Chicago Bulls. Boston on the other hand, beat the Philadelphia 76ers to open the NBA schedule 2022 behind two monster performances from both Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Let’s dive into our Celtics vs Heat betting preview and see where we can find some value.

Game Information:

Game: Boston Celtics (1-0) @ Miami Heat (0-1) Date, time (TV):
Location: FTX Arena

Heat Look for First Win of 2022-23 Season

The Heat aren’t the favorite to win this game after losing to the Bulls on Wednesday. Instead, Boston is the 1.5-point favorite on the road.

We start out the Celtics vs Heat betting preview by taking a look at the Miami Heat. The Heat aren’t the favorite to win this game after losing to the Bulls on Wednesday. Instead, Boston is the 1.5-point favorite on the road. Miami shot better than Chicago and matched them in nearly every other statistical category other than offensive rebounding. They only had eight offensive boards all game and allowed Chicago 34 defensive rebounds.

The problem for the Heat was their defense. They looked slow and allowed Chicago easy opportunities to get to their spots and create the offense they desired. That job isn’t going to get any easier for Miami on Friday because we would agree that Boston’s offense is superior to that of Chicago’s.

The Heat were not able to stop DeMar DeRozan who made his 37-point performance look easy, which makes us wonder how they are going to stop both Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Defensive intensity will have to be a point of emphasis for Miami if they want a chance at beating the Celtics.

Boston on the other hand looked dominant in their season-opening win over the Philadelphia 76ers. The thing that made them so successful in that game was their ability to push the pace and catch the Sixers sleeping defensively. Boston had 24 fast break points in comparison to Philly’s two. And they’ll look to do the same against a Miami team that likes to slow the game down and play in the half-court.

Target the Total

In the Eastern Conference semifinals last season, Boston and Miami combined to score an average of 204 points per game throughout the seven-game series. While the NBA scores are often lower in the playoffs due to the intensity, that is still a very low number, which makes us lean toward the under in Friday’s game as well.

The Heat have also been the 29th slowest team when it comes to pace of play in each of the last three seasons. Not to mention, they ranked in the bottom 10 in transition frequency. Couple all of that with Boston being ranked number one in defensive efficiency last year and this could turn out to be a very low-scoring game.

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